Violent Film Motivates House GOP As They Push Us Toward Default
As we reported yesterday, Speaker Boehner is having some trouble rounding up the votes for his disastrous default bill. So much trouble that he had to postpone today’s planned vote until at least tomorrow. (Good thing we’re not in a rush or anything.)
In order to whip up support for the Boehner plan, the Washington Post reported that yesterday the GOP leadership played a clip from the Ben Affleck flick The Town. Here are the details, via ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum:
Ben Affleck: I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we’re going to hurt some people.
Jeremy Renner: Whose car are we going to take?
According to the Washington Post, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) replied, “I’m ready to drive the car.”
In the movie, the characters then put on hockey masks and bludgeon two men with sticks, then shoot one man in the leg.
The controversy lit up twitter last night, and today Democratic leaders were quick to denounce the showing of the clip — and the message behind it.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee:
When we set out to get our country’s deficit problem in order and under control, we knew that it would be a difficult debate. But I don’t think anyone anticipated that our disagreements would lead to the type of vitriol and negative tone that this clip was clearly meant to incite. Not only did the Republican leadership apparently think this clip appropriate for their meeting. Those in attendance seemed to embrace its message.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) put it plainly:
Ladies and gentleman, this is your House Republican majority.
As we noted yesterday, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said if the Boehner plan were to be enacted, “it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”
In order to meet the extremely deep level of entitlement cuts implied in the Boehner plan, CBPP says policymakers would be left with basically three painful options:
- Cut Social Security and Medicare benefits heavily for current retirees, something that all budget plans from both parties (including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan) have ruled out
- Repeal the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions while retaining its measures that cut Medicare payments and raise tax revenues, even though Republicans seek to repeal many of those measures as well
- Eviscerate the safety net for low-income children, parents, senior citizens, and people with disabilities
As CBPP says, “There is no other plausible way to get $1.5 trillion in entitlement cuts in the next ten years.”
Ladies and gentleman, this is the Republican plan for America.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
An “unprecedented” coalition of Christian leaders urged President Obama to protect the poor during debt talks.
No, the Obama administration did not ban the word “God” at military funerals in Houston.
Flashback: In February, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner correctly warned against negotiating over raising the debt ceiling because of the dire consequences.
Newt Gingrich defends his Tiffany’s credit line: “I love my wife, I’m happy we’re able to do nice things.”
Calls to crack down on gays have Ghana’s government on the defensive.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott promised today to bring comprehensive immigration reform to the legislative table in 2012.
Sarah Palin says American ideals are “foreign to our president” because of “his background.”
An Office-like show set in Afghanistan is on the way, and Alyssa is intrigued, noting that “fights over office supplies are universal.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s new YouTube video denying that the Palestinian Territories are occupied is basically just a rip-off of a propaganda video produced by a council of West Bank settlers, Gal Beckerman writes at the Forward’s new blog.
Worth A Thousand Words: What If You Throw A Tea Party And Nobody Shows Up?
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) addressing a Tea Party “rally” held outside the Capitol today, via Slate’s Dave Weigel:
Numbers To Know: Oslo Terrorist’s Manifesto Cited Many Islamophobic Bloggers And Pundits
The scoop, via ThinkProgress’ Eli Clifton:
Right-wing pundits and bloggers were quick to leap to judgment that the Norwegian terror attacks were the work of al Qaeda or an Islamic terrorist. But the news that the attacker had blond hair and blue eyes and was inspired by right-wing “counterjihad” bloggers suddenly turned the tables on many of the bloggers and supposed “terrorism experts.”
Anders Breivik’s manifesto contains numerous in-text and footnoted citations to prominent Islamophobic bloggers, supposed experts on Islamic terrorism and think tanks claiming to be on the front lines of battling Islam’s attacks on democracies.
While a citation in the manifesto is far from an endorsement of violence by those Breivik referenced, it is increasingly clear that the Islamophobic right wing in the U.S. influenced his views.